MLB power rankings: Week 23

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By TONY CONSIGLIO
XN Sports

There is just one month left to the Major League Baseball season and the final push is on for the playoffs. In addition to the 10 teams currently holding postseason spots, there are six more that are within five games of a Wild Card berth.

The next few weeks will focus on those races as teams try to make their moves. But this past week was about the teams at the top. The Angels and Athletics met in a battle for MLB supremacy, and it was L.A. which cemented its status as the league's best team.

Meanwhile, Oakland's struggles have opened the door for other teams to climb up this week's power rankings, most notably the Orioles and Dodgers. These rankings also see the return of a former top-10 team almost cracking the top five.

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MLB power rankings: Week 23
1. Los Angeles Angels (83-53) (Last Week 1) – What a statement week for the Angels. In a huge four-game series against Oakland, with the A.L. West lead on the line, L.A. swept, outscoring the A’s 18-4 and opening up a five-game lead in the division. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
2. Baltimore Orioles (79-56) (LW 5) – The Orioles have won six of their last seven and are poised to win their first A.L. East title since 1997. With a nine-game lead over the Yankees, Baltimore’s magic number of 19 is the lowest in baseball. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (77-60) (LW 4) – The Dodgers will be taking a more deliberate approach with their pitching staff going forward. L.A. is moving to a six-man rotation, in part to give Dan Haren more time between starts and to potentially line up the front three starters for their series against the Giants in two weeks. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
4. Oakland Athletics (78-58) (LW 2) – Once a World Series favorite, Oakland is now free falling. Being swept in four games against the Angels puts the Athletics in danger of falling out of the division race, and the bats are nowhere to be found. Since trading Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland is hitting an A.L.-worst .223 (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
5. Washington Nationals (77-58) (LW 3) – After winning 12 of 13, the Nats cooled off quickly, being swept in a three-game series against the Phillies. It was their first time being swept since mid-June. But, they bounced back to take two of three from Seattle. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

6. San Francisco Giants (74-62) (LW 11) – The Giants replaced the struggling Tim Lincecum in the rotation with Yusmeiro Petit. He proceeded to set a MLB record by retiring his 46th batter in a row on Thursday.

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
7. Kansas City Royals (74-61) (LW 6) – Even losing their last three to end the month, the Royals maintain a .5-game lead over the Tigers in the A.L. Central. It’s the first time Kansas City has been in first place at the end of August since 1982. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
8. Detroit Tigers (74-62) (LW 10) – Miguel Cabrera is dealing with ankle problems and it seems to be impacting his bat. He is stuck in a 1-for-16 slump and hasn’t homered since August 2nd. That is the longest homerless streak of his career. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
9. Milwaukee Brewers (73-63) (LW 7) – The Brewers traded for Reds’ reliever Jonathan Broxtonin an effort to solidify their bullpen. Milwaukee’s 3.83 bullpen ERA is the third-highest in the National League. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
10. St. Louis Cardinals (73-63) (LW 8) – Matt Holliday hit safely in 12 of 13 games through Sunday, but saved his biggest for over the weekend. In two games, he went 5-for-7 with three home runs, a double, and nine RBIs. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
11. Pittsburgh Pirates (71-65) (LW 12) – Edinson Volquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Friday night to lead the Pirates to a 2-1 win over Cincinnati. Volquez has not given up more than three earned runs in a start since June 18th. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
12. Cleveland Indians (70-64) (LW 15) – The Indians’ pitching staff is dominant as the team gears up for a September playoff push. At 2.40, Cleveland’s team ERA is the best in baseball in August. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
13. Atlanta Braves (72-65) (LW 14) – The Braves pitching staff helped the team to a 4-2 record over the last week. Atlanta gave up a total of just 12 runs in those six games.(AP Photo/David Goldman)
14. Seattle Mariners (73-62) (LW 9) – The Mariners had a great chance to pick up some wins early in the week against the league-worst Rangers. Instead, they lost two of three at home to Texas, then dropped two of three to Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
15. New York Yankees (70-65) (LW 13) – One of the more impressive accomplishments from the Yankees this season was their thrashing of David Price on Wednesday. In 3+ innings, New York got to him for eight runs on 12 hits, including a streak of nine straight hits to start the third inning. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
16. Toronto Blue Jays (69-67) (LW 16) – Jose Bautista is providing almost all of the power coming out of Toronto. He homered in five straight games, bringing his total to 29 on the year.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
17. San Diego Padres (64-71) (LW 20) – The Padres strung together three straight extra-inning, walk-off wins. It’s the first time they’ve had three in a row since 1986. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
18. Miami Marlins (66-69) (LW 17) – In his last four starts for the Marlins, Jarred Cosart has allowed just two runs over 27.2 innings. Miami has won all of those games. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
19. Cincinnati Reds (66-71) (LW 19) – With six strikeouts on Sunday, Johnny Cueto passed the 200 K mark on the season. He becomes just the third Cincinnati pitcher to reach that milestone before September, joining Jim Maloney and Mario Soto. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
20. Tampa Bay Rays (66-71) (LW 18) – With a 7-0 win over the Red Sox on Saturday, the Rays picked up their American League-leading 18th shutout on the year. With two more in September, Tampa will become the first A.L. team with 20 since 1973. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
21. New York Mets (64-73) (LW 21) – Prior to Sunday, the Mets had 10 consecutive home games with six or fewer hits. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that ties the MLB record since 1900. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
22. Chicago White Sox (62-75) (LW 24) – The White Sox could not have done any better in signing Jose Abreu. With 32 doubles, 33 home runs and 99 RBIs, he is just one RBI away from joining Albert Pujols and Hal Trosky as the only rookies in MLB history to have a 30-30-100 season. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
23. Philadelphia Phillies (62-74) (LW 25) – The Phillies finished August with a 14-13 record, marking the first time since September of 2012 that the team finished a month with a record above .500. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
24. Chicago Cubs (61-76) (LW 22) – In their chance to play spoilers, the Cubs took their first two games against the Cardinals. But, on Saturday and Sunday, Chicago gave up 13 and nine runs, respectively, to St. Louis. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
25. Boston Red Sox (60-76) (LW 26) – After a disastrous season, are the Red Sox finally getting something useful out of Clay Buchholz? On Sunday, he turned in a complete-game, three-hit shutout. It marked his fourth quality start in five outings. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
26. Minnesota Twins (59-77) (LW 23) – The Twins are stuck in a rut, having lost seven of their last eight. During that stretch, they allowed eight or more runs four times. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
27. Houston Astros (59-79) (LW 28) – As the Astros try to improve on the field, problems seem to be increasing off of it. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager Bo Porter are not seeing eye to eye. A situation like this is the last thing this franchise needs. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (57-79) (LW 27) – The Diamondbacks are in the midst of 28 straight games coming against N.L. West rivals. So far, they are 4-4, and are 26-30 against the division this season. That is their best record against any one division this year. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
29. Colorado Rockies (54-82) (LW 29) – Tyler Matzek turned in two great starts for the Rockies last week. He beat both the Giants and Diamondbacks on the road with seven-inning performances, allowing a total of 11 hits and two runs. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
30. Texas Rangers (53-83) (LW 30) – The Rangers lost three of four against the Astros in Houston to end the week. Texas is now 5-11 against the American League’s second-worst team this season. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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